On Thursday, August 13 the Te Awamutu PostShop and Kiwibank on 71 Bank St will become a standalone Kiwibank branch.

"Kiwibank is excited to provide the Te Awamutu community the right environment for banking conversations. While we've seen customer preference shift from 'bricks and mortar' sites to digital banking options, we're committed to providing face-to-face Kiwibank services in Te Awamutu," said Kiwibank general manager retail Geoff Waller.

Branch opening hours will be 9am-4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

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Kiwibank is one of only a few banks to reopen all corporate-owned retail sites and return to normal operating hours so it can continue to offer the face-to-face services many customers are looking for.

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"These are unprecedented times and we firmly believe banks must step up to help. Here at Kiwibank we're committed to playing an outsize role in helping get the New Zealand economy back on its feet," said Geoff.

There is a number of ways the New Zealand-owned bank is supporting customers impacted by Covid-19.

"We made the bold move to reset variable interest rates last month by reducing rates from 4.4 per cent to 3.4 per cent. This will result in repayment savings of $20 million for more than 35,000 home loan and business banking customers.

"The cut reduces the pricing gap between fixed and variable rates significantly, giving Kiwibank customers greater flexibility and choice. It also provides them an opportunity to pay back their loans faster, save, or buy local and support New Zealand's economy.

"Our team has also contacted some 16,000 customers directly and has delivered more than 7000 formal care packages to help customers get through these challenging times. For home loan customers this has involved temporary changes such as converting loans to interest-only for up to six months to help relieve financial pressure. We're also working closely with our business customers to ensure their businesses stay viable.

"Another one of our priorities is financial inclusion. Prior to the pandemic, we had put a lot of resource into supporting customers to move to get comfortable with alternative ways of banking. We'd held a number of digital banking education sessions with support from Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa across the country," said Geoff.

"This work has really paid off and the positive impact has been huge; our customers feel empowered and enabled. It has meant many of our customers who might have been vulnerable during lockdown were well prepared."

Kiwibank continues with its digital education, with a special team supporting customers over the phone . "All these programmes underline Kiwibank's vision to be a challenger, providing New Zealanders with a real alternative to the big Australian-owned banks and support the growth and progress of all New Zealanders."

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Customers wanting to get to grips with online banking and how to stay safe online can visit the Kiwibank support hub: https://www.kiwibank.co.nz/contact-us/support-hub/ or contact the special care team at digitaleducation@kiwibank.co.nz to set up a time to talk directly with a Kiwibank expert for one-on-one support.